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3 killed as car skids into canal
Our Correspondent

The ill-fated car which fell into the Doraha canal, killing three persons
The ill-fated car which fell into the Doraha canal, killing three persons. — A Tribune photograph

Doraha, March 11
Three of the five occupants of a car were killed when their vehicle fell into the Doraha canal near here last night. The car occupants were going from Anandpur Sahib to their native village, Pone Kothe in Jagraon, when it skidded near the Gurthali Pull of Doraha.

A newly-wed couple travelling in the car, however, escaped unhurt.

The three bodies which were recovered from the Zen car (No. CH-03D-9307) have been identified as Harchand Singh (64), Narinder Kaur and Harjinder Kaur (62).

Jaswinder Kaur, however, managed to open a door and jumped to safety.

The bodies have been sent for a postmortem examination and proceedings are being conducted under Section 174 of the CrPC by the Doraha police.

Harpreet Singh, whose parents were drowned in the Doraha canal, being consoled by a relative.
Harpreet Singh, whose parents were drowned in the Doraha canal, being consoled by a relative.

Harpreet Singh along with his newly-wed bride, parents and a close relative were travelling from Anandpur Sahib towards his native village near Jagraon. The divergence of roads at the Gurthali Pull reportedly confused them, and Harpreet (who was driving the car) with a view to confirming their route, parked the car on the bank of the canal. In the meantime, the car skidded into the canal. The wife of Harpreet Singh, Jaswinder Kaur, however, managed to escape but the other three were driven into the jaws of death.

The Doraha police along with Chowki in charge Devinder Singh reached the spot and arranged for military personnel and other staff. However, the search at night yielded no results. It was only at daybreak when divers initiated their search that the Zen along with the three bodies were taken out.

NRI Harpreet Singh along with his parents had come from Canada only six months ago. He had married Jaswinder Kaur on February 24. The family had gone to seek blessings at Anandpur Sahib.

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Patients endure potholes to reach Civil Hospital
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Six months after the recarpeting work on an important road in front of the Civil Hospital started, it is yet to be completed, with the delay inconveniencing the patients who have to reach the hospital in emergency.

The work on the road was started in September and the officials had claimed that it would be completed soon. But even after so many months, the patients and commuters have to suffer a bumpy ride. Many accidents have already taken place, as rickshaws and scooters have reportedly overturned, causing injuries to many people. The road is yet to be completed while the civic body had allegedly wasted resources by using costly tiles to line the outer wall of the Civil Hospital near the road that needs immediate attention.

Residents say that while the resources were being wasted on lining the wall with tiles that were not needed, no attention was paid to the road that should have been smoothened by now.

Residents of the area said that there was no need to waste the public money by dumping the tiles there. These could have been utilised on the recarpeting of road. Things have come to such a pass that the road looks like a trail in the absence of proper repair.

‘‘The contractor did not seem to mind wasting the material but he has not bothered about the road that needed immediate repairs. Many people have fallen due to potholes and suffered injuries. But who cares? ’’ asked a resident.

The junior engineer of the area concerned said that the work would be completed soon. He said the tiles were put to beautify the outer wall of the hospital. ‘‘The entire wall was lined with tiles and the road would be recarpeted soon. The tiles would strengthen the wall, as there is a danger of collision of many vehicles with the wall. ’’

Some residents said that the money was not only being wasted on these tiles but also in installing the streetlights afresh. A number of streetlight poles already existed on both sides of the road. These were not being repaired but new ones were being installed in the middle of the road.

‘‘It seems that there was no need of this project. May be it was awarded with a motive to please somebody. We are a poor country and we should do where we can do with repairs. Otherwise, one can calculate the cost of installing so many new poles, that too when the old ones are existing and can be used, ’’ said another resident. ‘‘That is why nobody is bothered about the completion of the project.’’ 

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Ludhiana gets raw deal in Badal ministry
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 11
Probably for the first time, Ludhiana, the biggest district in Punjab, has been so poorly represented in the ministry headed by Parkash Singh Badal. Moreover, the lone minister Hira Singh Gabria has also not been given any important portfolio.

In the previous Congress regime, of the eight legislators elected, six were made either ministers of chief parliamentary or parliamentary secretaries. In the current regime, of the seven elected legislators of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharitya Janata Party alliance, only one could make it to the ministry.

In the previous regime Harnam Dass Johar and Tej Parkash were made cabinet ministers with all important portfolios of education and transport respectively.

Besides, Rakesh Pandey was made a minister of state with independent charge. Malkiat Singh Birmi was first made minister of state, late Chief Parliamentary Secretary. Surinder Dawer and Harbans Kaur Dullo were also made parliamentary secretaries.

It is being argued, since most of the senior leaders and probable ministers like Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal and Jagdish Singh Garcha lost in the elections, Ludhiana was left with limited choice. But at the same time Satpal Gosain of the BJP has become the MLA for the third time. Since he belonged to the BJP and the alliance had already taken its share of five ministries, Gosain was left out.

However, it is not the seniority alone that mattered for being appointed as the minister. Like Bikramjit Singh Majithia from Majitha was appointed minister although he was a first timer. His additional qualification was that of being the brother in law of Sukhbir Singh Badal.

In comparison there was Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, who became the MLA for second time and that too after defeating the Pradesh Congress Committee president, Shamsher Singh Dullo in his home turf. Mr Khalsa was an outsider as he represented Dakha earlier. He is the son of veteran Akali leader and former minister, late Basant Singh Khalsa.

Even Harish Rai Dhanda, a former chairman of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council, was a strong contender for the ministry.

The widespread opinion prevailing in the industrial and economic capital of Punjab is that of disappointment over the poor representation in the government.

Because, at the end of the day, it is the ministers who matter much as compared to the legislators when it comes to bringing in new development schemes or getting various works done. 

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Snatchers strike again
Tribune News Srervice

Ludhiana, March 11
After a lull of some months, the gang of robbers riding a motorcycle and specialising in snatching purses, valubales and jewellery from women is again active in the city for the past several days.

While reports of such snatchings are pouring in daily, the cops have been unable to track them down.

In two fresh cases, Minakshi Rai, a resident of Chander Nagar, was looted in the colony while another woman Richa Bhalla, wife of Dr Amit Bhalla, was looted of valuables near Tagore Nagar. Both the women were riding rickshaws. The accused had the same description. They were young and rode a bike.

Minakshi stated the two accused snatched her purse containing Rs 16,000 cash, identity card, mobile phone, gold chain near Government College. Richa stated she was divested of Rs 5000, a mobile phone and a gold jewellery.

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Ludhiana Calling

Male journalists in the city held a special function to mark International Women’s Day. The effort was appreciated by women journalists for organising the function to honour women reporters. The event, which was not sans male bashing, came as a pleasant change for the reporters.

Busy-ness on rise

Being the last month of the current financial year, banks, financial institutions are abuzz with activity. Those engaged in selling financial products like bonds, insurance policies etc deserve a particular mention as they are working overtime to meet their targets. This month, quipped a marketing professional, is probably the only one where even unsolicited calls to people for selling products are not ignored.

No disaster management

Failure of disaster management system of the city police was exposed when a girl's body was retrieved from an over 150-feet deep well.

The police called the Fire Brigade but failed to get any help. Then, the Army was called in for the rescue but the Army officials questioned why the administration was seeking Army's help for such a small rescue task.

Ultimately private divers were called in by and the body was recovered.

Cricket mania

Cricket mania has taken over fans in the city as the World Cup is all set to begin. Fans are busy scheduling their time table to be able to watch the matches at night and not let their work suffer. Hotels and restaurant owners are offering Caribbean cuisine with the staff attired in sports kit of the participating teams.

Even the trophies presented in mohalla cricket are being designed on the lines of the World Cup trophy with some being an exact replica of the coveted trophy.

All in the family

With the induction of Sukhbir Badal as the president of Shiromani Akali Dal, speculations are rife that all his family members would now hold important positions in the party's rank and file. Talk of Badal's wife, Surinder Kaur making it as supremo of Women Akali Dal is doing the rounds already.

After the news of Sukhbir becoming the head of SAD, a resident was quick to say,‘‘Now they will constitute a Children's Akali Dal and Sukhbir's son would be made the president.’’

Colours of weather

Fluctuations in Weather have become the norm these days. The mercury rises for some days and then dips due to drizzle.

Mild drizzle added to the chill last week following a spell of warm days. But just when people thought of getting back to their woolens, it was warm and sunny again. Confused residents are now just carrying sweaters with them to avoid falling sick.

Remains of the polls

Elections are long over but the city is still defaced with the posters and banners of various candidates. The Municipal Corporation did its bit by removing many bill boards but who would look after the houses and other buildings?

Catch ’em if you can

Traffic cops posted at various chowks are a helpless lot as far as challaning a violator is concerned. Devoid of proper equipment to nab violators, the cops are being given a slip by the violators who keep on running after them and get nothing in return. Every other day people are seen jumping red lights right in front of the cops. When the latter stop them they speed up their vehicles and run away. Poor cops cannot do anything but stand and rue the lack of vehicles to catch them.

New saheb or not?

With the change in regime, police circles were abuzz with reports on whether all the top officials in the police administration would be changed or not?

The munshis at different police stations are the ones who take queries of reporters 24 x 7. But in the past few days, the moment they learn the caller is a reporter, prompt comes the query,

"New Saheb is coming or not?”

Contributed by Shveta Pathak, Jupinderjit Singh, Kanchan Vasdev

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‘Women can eliminate social evils‘
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, March 11
Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) and Guru Angad Dev Sewa Society celebrated International Women's Day at a joint function held at Guru Angad Dev School of Nursing at Hiran village. Padam Bhushan Dr Sardara Singh Johl was the chief guest on the occasion.

Dr Sardara Singh Johal said marketing linkages need to be created so that the trainees can make a good earning. He said women alone can eliminate all social evils but he had high hopes from youth of today.

Beneficiaries of various vocational training projects being run by the JSS in 42 village of Ludhiana took part in the function. Skits on female foeticide and dowry were presented on the occasion. Twenty five resource persons of the JSS were honoured for their services and certificates were also distributed to the beneficiaries who had completed their training.

Dr Arvinder Singh, chairman of JSS Ludhiana said 1500 beneficiaries have passed out this year in different courses ranging from 15 days to one year. He said the JSS organised its courses for the neoliterate and rural school dropouts who were deprived of an opportunity to go in for sophisticated technical courses.

The courses ranged from candle making, pickle making, welding, T V repair, diesel engine repair, scooter repair, hand knitting, embroidery, beauty culture, midwife training, hospital helpers and lab technician, he added.

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Razia to rescue of Amarinder, Dullo
Our Correspondent

Razia Sultana
Razia Sultana, MLA, Malerkotla

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 11
Terming signature campaign reportedly launched against Captain Amarinder Singh, former chief minister as treachery, Ms Razia Sultana, MLA, Malerkotla, has appealed to the Congress legislators and other senior leaders of the party to impress upon national president Sonia Gandhi to put forward his name as leader of opposition in the assembly.

Coming to defence of Amarinder Singh and Shamsher Singh Dullo, she said a majority of legislators lobbying for Rajinder Kaur Bhattal could have lost their seats, had Captain Amarinder and Dullo not contributed towards their win at the cost of their own campaign.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Ms Razia said lobbying for the post of leader of opposition was not only unwanted but unethical.

"Amarinder Singh and Dullo both performed their roles as head of government and the party well and did their best for the victory of party candidates in recent elections. As Dullo has lost the election now Amarinder Singh should be assigned the duty of leading the group in assembly," argued Razia adding that Dullo had lost election as he devoted maximum time for canvassing in favour of other candidates.

Razia suggested Congress legislators winning by very narrow margins that they should not forget role of Amarinder Singh and Dullo in sending them to the assembly this time.

Earlier local Congress leaders including Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola president and Mr Ravinder Kumar, president, city Congress, had appreciated the stand of Razia in giving fitting reply to the other aspirant of the title, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal who had tried to degrade her (Razia) at a social function on the issue.

Snubbing Bhattal's question about delay in extending support to her on the issue of election of leader of opposition in assembly, Razia told her that she (Razia) stood committed to Captain Amarinder and non else.

Though proximity of Razia Sultana to former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had become open a long time ago, face to face confrontation between her and Bhattal surfaced at a social gathering at Jalwana village near here on last Sunday.

Razia had reacted strongly when Bhattal, in presence of many persons, complained that she (Razia) had not extended her support whereas a large number of Congress legislators had favoured her election as leader of opposition party in assembly. Situation became awkward for Bhattal when Razia accused a local Congress leader, former OSD to CM and a confidante of Ms Bhattal, of supporting SAD nominee Abdul Gaffar in recent assembly elections. 

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Seminar on Indian economy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 11
Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) in collaboration with Indian Society for Technical Education (Students Chapter) of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology arranged a seminar on "India- A Rapid Globalising Economy" here at college campus today.

MBA students of GNIMT gave elaborate presentations touching various aspects of Budget 2007 and its impact on economic growth.Around 200 students of MBA from various management institutes attended the seminar.

Prof Shubhashish Gangopadhyay, founder Director, IDF (India Development Foundation), Dr Amir Khan, Fellow IDF and Dr Jagwant Singh from SD College, Chandigarh, were the speakers. The speakers focussed on the impact of government policies on business, issues on inflation, infrastructure, health, education, employment and other issues facing Indian economy and business. They also talked about India's trade-exports and imports and the impact of various Regional Trade Agreements, Free Trade Agreements and WTO.

Dr (Col) H.S.Singha, Director, GNIMT, said the seminar which was a joint effort of LMA and the GNIMT was organised considering the fact that the union budget in India had always been an important policy document and management students must be aware of various aspects of budget.

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Sumer Gurjar Ludhiana DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 11
Sumer Gurjar, a 1998 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, has been appointed Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. He replaces Ashok Kumar Gupta, who has been posted special secretary in the Department of Education.

Gurjar has earlier served here as the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development). It would be his first posting as the Deputy Commissioner. He would be joining here tomorrow.

Talking to The Tribune, he said he would come up to the best expectations of the people. Gurjar is known for his accessibility to the public, honest and clean image.

The outgoing Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Gupta took over in April last. A major task he embarked upon was to create a fully equipped public delivery system at the district headquarters.

He set up a new separate fully computerised Suwidha Centre. The new building of Suwidha Centre has been completed at a cost of Rs. 1.22 crore. 

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